Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

First hour: Rochester Fringe Festival producer Erica Fee on the festival and the pandemic

Second hour: Ann Lewis, candidate for the 137th Assembly District Democratic primary; candidates for the 61st Senate District Democratic primary

Republican Chris Jacobs is running against Democrat Nate McMurray in the special election for New York’s 27th Congressional district. That seat had been held by Chris Collins, who resigned his seat after pleading guilty to a variety of charges related to insider trading and corruption.

WXXI was not able to schedule a televised debate between the candidates, so we’re offering radio time. McMurray has agreed to join us to discuss the issues. Our guest:

The Democratic primary is less than one week away, and voters in the 25th Congressional District will have a choice between two candidates in that race: current Congressman Joe Morelle, and Brighton Town Board member Robin Wilt. This is Wilt's second run for Congress; Morelle won the seat in 2018 after the passing for long-time Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.

This hour, we talk with Wilt about her platform and priorities for the district. Our guest:

*Note: Congressman Morelle was offered equal time on the program, but was unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts.

First hour: Robin Wilt, candidate for the 25th Congressional District Democratic primary

Second hour: Nate McMurray, Democratic candidate for the 27th Congressional District special election

We continue our conversation with Dr. Tim Wiegand from UR Medicine about the opioid crisis. This hour, Dr. Wiegand discusses an opioid prescription "opt-in" program for patients post-surgery. He says that program has led to a significant reduction in opioid prescriptions.

We discuss the impact of the program and the broader opioid crisis. Our guest:

  • Tim Wiegand, M.D., director of toxicology at URMC, and associate director of the UR Medicine Combined Addiction Fellowship Training Program

The YMCA of Greater Rochester has announced a reopening plan that will go into effect next week, assuming our region moves into Phase 4. That plan includes reopening some of the more modern, suburban facilities like Penfield and Pittsford, while keeping most city facilities closed.

We discuss how the plan will impact membership and how it fits within in the YMCA's mission. Our guests:

First hour: Discussing the YMCA of Greater Rochester's reopening plan

Second hour: Dr. Tim Wiegand on the state of opioid prescriptions

How much do you know about Juneteenth? Our guests say it’s likely the answer is “not enough.” Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, and there have been calls to make June 19th a federal holiday.

This hour, we discuss the history of Juneteenth, its importance – especially during this current moment in our country – and the Black Lives Matter movement. Our guests:

This hour, we talk with three local friends who share some of the difficult and productive conversations they’ve had about race. A white local racial justice advocate says she’s had humbling discussions with African American friends about the impact of social media posts made by white allies like herself. She says she didn’t realize how certain images or content can be traumatizing, and it’s important for white people to listen and not shy away from uncomfortable conversations. 

We dive into those conversations with our guests:

  • Johnita Anthony, Brighton resident
  • Norman Simmons, Rochester resident
  • Megan Clifford, Brighton resident


First hour: How to have conversations about race

Second hour: Discussing the history and importance of Juneteenth